DONNY SCHATZ CLINCHES THIRD OUTLAW TITLE Tony Stewart Racing's Schatz Earns Armor All, Chevy First WoO Sprint Series Crown CONCORD, N.C. (Nov. 1, 2008) -- Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz clinched his third consecutive Advance...
DONNY SCHATZ CLINCHES THIRD OUTLAW TITLE
Tony Stewart Racing's Schatz Earns Armor All, Chevy First WoO Sprint Series Crown
CONCORD, N.C. (Nov. 1, 2008) -- Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver
Donny Schatz clinched his third consecutive Advance Auto Parts World of
Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series championship by finishing second in
Friday night's 30-lap VAULT World Finals feature at The Dirt Track
Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Schatz won the championship driving the TSR No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J in 63 events during the 2008 season, earning team sponsors Armor All and Chevy their first championship in Winged Sprint car's premiere racing division.
The championship marked the second WoO title for Tony Stewart the car owner. Stewart earned his first WoO championship in 2001 with Danny Lasoski. It is also Stewart's ninth championship as a car owner, for he has seven titles in the United States Auto Club (USAC), including last year's USAC National Sprint Car Series crown via TSR driver Levi Jones.
"When the opportunity to drive for Tony Stewart Racing came my way, this is exactly what I was hoping would happen," said the 31-year-old Schatz, who resides in Fargo, N.C. "I had been fortunate to win two World of Outlaws championships before coming to TSR, and I knew how hungry everyone in the organization was to win another Outlaw title. From top to bottom, everyone at TSR was committed to doing everything they could to help get us here. To be able to deliver a championship in our first season working with Armor All and Chevy is truly awesome. We had the fortune of working with both Outlaw teams and no one gave up. Whether it was my crew, the guys from the Bass Pro Shop team, (teammate) Kraig (Kinser), or the people taking care of the day-to-day stuff, it was always about finding a way to do whatever it took.
"I know Tony (Stewart) wishes he could be here with us this weekend, but we've stayed in contact throughout the year. Thankfully, SPEED is here televising tonight's race and he can at least follow the action.
"This relationship has been everything we hoped it would be," continued Schatz, "and I'm glad I was able to win a championship for him and the guys. It was tough leaving our family-owned team, but this year has been special for my parents being able to enjoy the season without some of the pressure they had in the past. It was also great winning another championship for ParkerStore, who has been with me since 1999. We're all going to cherish this accomplishment for quite a while."
Heading into Friday night's event, Schatz carried a 123-point advantage over his nearest challenger, Jason Meyers. After qualifying the No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J in the 10th position, Schatz started Friday night's A-main event from the inside of the second row. Battling near the front of the field throughout the race, Schatz moved into the runner-up position on lap 16 and set his sights on eventual winner, Brooke Tatnell. Working his way through heavy traffic, Schatz's progression to the front was derailed by a caution flag with 10 laps left in the race. Following Tatnell to the checkered flag in second place was enough to put Schatz's name in the record books as the 2008 WoO Sprint Series Champion.
With confirmation that the title was clinched, Schatz looks to end the season with one more victory in Saturday night's 2008 WoO season finale.
"I race to win every night, but knowing the championship is officially ours really lets us focus on just winning another race," Schatz said. "I can honestly say that we didn't pay too close attention to the points. We've always been about winning races. I've been fortunate enough to win the final race of the year a couple of times (1999, 2004, and 2006), and it's a great feeling to take into the off-season. I know Tony will be watching tonight, and it would be great to give TSR one more win to end the season."
The 2008 season has been another highlight reel for Schatz and the Armor All team. The championship title highlights a season that included 17 WoO "A" Feature wins and the 2008 Knoxville Nationals title -- Schatz' third consecutive Knoxville crown and TSR's fourth Nationals triumph. Over the course of the season, Schatz earned 45 top-five finishes and 57 top-10s in 63 starts.
Stewart, who is competing in Sunday's Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, was thrilled to see Schatz and the Armor All team capture the crown.
"I said when we signed the deal last year, we knew it was like getting a first round pick to bring Donny Schatz to TSR," Stewart said. "It's an incredible accomplishment for him to be able to come to a new organization and not miss a beat. He is a true champion, and it says a lot about the entire TSR operation. We've had success before both in the Outlaws and in USAC, but as a competitor, I know it's always about winning the next race and continuing to improve. Everyone did an outstanding job in bringing TSR this championship. Donny is a true talent, and I'm very happy that he was able to win his third Outlaw title as a part of TSR.
"It's also exciting to win our first championship with Armor All. They came on board with TSR this year and have been a true asset to our organization. I'm also extremely proud to win another championship with Chevy as part of my open-wheel program. It's a privilege to present them with their first ever WoO championship. Their effort and dedication to help TSR move forward with our USAC and World of Outlaws teams has directly resulted in us having success on the track. It's an honor to have them, as well as our other sponsors, as part of this championship, and we look forward to many more."
For information regarding TSR, Schatz, Armor All, Chevy, or ParkerStore, log on to www.tonystewartracing.com, www.donnyschatz.com, www.aa-ownercenter.com, www.Chevy.com or www.parkerstore.com.